Monaco, Europe’s second smallest independent state after the Vatican City, is an ideal destination for Mediterranean yacht charters. Infamous for high-end lifestyles and the best of the Riviera’s shopping, Bespoke Yacht Charter, Monaco yacht charter specialists are experts at unlocking the secrets of where to go and what to see in the Principality.
Home to exceptional luxury boutiques, Belle Époque casinos and some of the world’s best restaurants, you can be sure that Monaco will welcome you with open arms and leave you with a taste for the finer things in life.
Please enjoy reading our ‘Guide to Yacht Charter in Monaco’ with insider tips about things to see and do when ashore in Monaco and useful advice about how to book your dream Monaco yacht charter.
1. Gateway to the Mediterranean Hotspots
Monaco is one of Europe’s most popular destinations and a fantastic addition to any Mediterranean luxury charter itinerary. Nestled between the French Riviera and the Italian Ligurian resorts, Monaco appeals with two excellent ports – Port Hercules and Port de Fontvieille – that set the Principality up as a gateway to regional yacht charter hotspots at St Jean Cap Ferrat, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez and the Italian Riviera.
2. Favourable Climate
For yacht charter clients seeking warm sunny days, Monaco is blessed with around 300 days of sunshine a year that make it a perfect choice for enjoying al fresco dining onboard or making the most of your yacht’s water toys. The hottest months are July and August with average temperatures between 22-26 degrees Celsius (72-79 degrees Farenheit), with warm days extending into spring and autumn. Winter months offer low-season charter rates but you will still experience blue skies most days and proximity to Alpes-Maritimes ski resorts in under 2 hours drive (or a short heli transfer) if you desire a mountain getaway.
3. Spectacular Events & Festivals
Monaco is home to top venues such as the Grimaldi Forum and Monte-Carlo Sporting Club that see a varied calendar of sporting, cultural and artistic events throughout the year. Whatever the season, you can enjoy a number of spectacular events, festivals and conferences annually in the Principality from the world-famous Grand Prix of Monaco, to the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Monaco Yacht Show and exceptional performances of ballet and opera.
4. Diverse Sightseeing
It is difficult to pinpoint what is a ‘must do’ in Monaco because there is so much to see and experience – top sightseeing ashore includes the Palais Princier with its beautiful State Apartments, browsing the marine life collections at the Oceanographic Museum, visiting the Monaco Cathedral, strolling through the Japanese Garden that is adjacent to the much anticipated Anse du Portier development and taking in the sights of Place du Casino and the Casino de Monte-Carlo. We also recommend making the trip up to the Moyenne or Grande Corniches for wonderful views over Monaco.
5. Excellent Options for Wining & Dining
Dining ashore provides a full plethora of palate-teasing choices from Michelin-starred Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse to Thai-Japanese cuisine at Maya Bay or casual Italian fare at Mozza near the Grimaldi Forum. Nightlife ranges from piano bars to portside pubs and chic cocktail lounges.
6. Fabulous Shopping
Luxury shopping in Monaco is a journey into the world of creative window displays and shelves filled with designer accessories, timepieces and shoes. Browse the boutiques lined around Monte-Carlo’s Cercle d’Or for haute couture trends and the latest designer fashion.
Recommended Restaurants and Bars in Monaco
Monaco has a diverse selection of great places to enjoy a delicious meal or expertly mixed drink – whether you opt for a gourmet degustation menu at a top restaurant or a night out dancing till dawn. Bespoke Yacht Charter’s recommendations for places to wine and dine ashore in Monaco are:
Located at the Hôtel Métrople, Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo is a two-star Michelin restaurant that exudes timeless luxury. Try to reserve a table on the terrace and savour the selections such as the Discovery menu with stuffed quail and langoustine with basil-enrobed pastry. Make sure you leave room for the bread cart and all-you-can-eat dessert options.
La Montgolfiere Henri Geraci (16 rue Basse, Monaco-Ville 98000) is located on a pedestrianised street in Monaco-Ville and captures the essence of Monégasque cuisine with touches of global flair. Open for lunch and dinner five days a week, bookings are recommended as there are 18 seats only.
Yacht charter guests looking for a lighter calorific journey when on land can venture a short distance from Port Hercules for healthy eating. Stars ‘n’ Bars, a popular harbourside bar-restaurant has partnered with The Clever Kitchen to add vegetarian and vegan dishes to their menu, L’Hirondelle at Les Thermes Marins has a magnificient view over the port to go with low-calorie cuisine and the Organic Detox Bar in La Condamine serves up healthy salads, cold-pressed juices and raw food treats.
Chef Toshimi Takiya’s Moshi Moshi at Port Fontvieille is a sushi bar with a local feel combining Japanese food with Mediterranean flavours. Don’t miss the crabe royal rolls with peppers, cucumber and shiso greens.
Bar du Quai facing the restaurant Quai des Artistes at Port Hercules is a relaxed place for cocktails or a glass of wine with sofas and mismatched furniture creating a laidback ambiance. Reserve a table at Quai des Artistes for French bistro cuisine before stepping outside to the bar area for a chilled rosé champagne or premium spirit.
For yacht charter clients interested in glamour and history, head to Bar Américain at the Hôtel de Paris. Open daily, it’s the perfect spot for an apéritif or quiet nightcap amidst the refined jazz atmosphere.
Located at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, Blue Gin has one of the best waterfront terraces in Monaco and legendary cocktails. Teamed with free billiards, live coverage of sports and regular DJ’s it’s a top venue for yacht charter guests looking to party in Monaco.
One of the region’s best nightclubs, Buddha Bar is located in an old cabaret hall that has been transformed into a plush exotic venue. Stucco, gilded décor and a statuesque Buddha set a luxurious Zen-like ambiance with a menu focused on Asian dishes such as sashimi and maki and a DJ alternating music from lounge to electro.
Best Places for Shopping in Monaco
Monaco defines luxury shopping and yacht charter guests will find boutiques retailing everything from diamond jewellery to designer homewares and prestigious fashion.
Open Monday to Saturday, the Métropole is a multi-level shopping centre and home to around 80 stores including Hugo Boss, Kenzo, FNAC, Ladurée and Vilebrequin. You’ll also find a boutique on Level 2 by Manufacture de Monaco who supply porcelain and tableware for the Monaco Royal Family. Another shopping centre, Fontvieille Commercial Centre, is near to Port Fontvieille with retailers selling clothes, hi-fi and shoes alongside a supermarket and McDonalds.
The Monte-Carlo Pavilions are five amoeba-shaped buildings at Jardins des Boulingrins opposite the Monte-Carlo Casino. Here you will find luxury labels such as Sonia Rykiel, Lanvin, Cartier and Louis Vuitton; they are due to stay at these temporary boutiques until 2018.
Major luxury brands for accessories, haute couture, jewellery and leather goods can be found on avenue de Monte-Carlo, avenue des Beaux Arts, boulevard des Moulins and avenue Princesse Alice – look for Valentino, Gucci, Prada, Montblanc and Guess.
La Condamine and Monaco-Ville are good shopping areas if you’re seeking high street stores, gifts or souvenirs.
Booking your next Monaco Yacht Charter
A yacht charter in Monaco allows you to discover other stunning towns along the French Riviera coastline or cruise to further Mediterranean destinations – anything is possible dependent on your budget, charter needs and preferences.
Whether you are looking for a charter with friends or clients during Monaco Grand Prix or a family getaway combining city and coast, Monaco appeals for many reasons. The start-to-finish process to book a yacht charter can be overwhelming so it’s vital to do your research and use a reputable yacht charter broker familiar with the latest Monaco charter yachts and Monegasque regulations.
Bespoke Yacht Charter have many years experience with Monaco yacht charters and can advise on advance booking deadlines (especially for charters during Monaco Grand Prix), charter terminology or itinerary suggestions. It is our business to provide unbiased, independent advice so you can be matched to your ideal yacht.
This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter.
To discuss your Monaco luxury yacht charter requirements, please contact: